Flashback Charts – The last week of January

Fifth Dimension

Arranged and Narrated by Rick Hiduk

I have been collecting music charts since I was a kid and have been prompted by friends to share some of them with readers. My resources extend back to 1898, so we’ll start in the middle with a pop chart from 1955. Subsequent charts this week are from 1965, 1979, 1981 and 1992, as well as a specialty chart that ranks the top pop hits from 1957 to 1977. The charts also include some stock photos and video clips to help you time travel through popular music’s portals with me.

Billboard has long been the leading source for record charts since the 1940s, as it evolved from a vaudeville and live radio guide into a publication much more in-tune with (and too often guided by) the music recording industry. In 1955, there were four pop charts published, including Most-Played in Juke Boxes, Most Played by (Radio) Jockeys, Best Sellers in Stores, and the weekly Honor Roll of Hits, the latter more focused on the song than the artist. Rock ‘n’ Roll was not represented in this top ten but languished in the chart positions below (with “Dim Dim the Lights” and “Shake Rattle & Roll” by Bill Haley & the Comets at #15 and #23, respectively, and the R&B crossover “Ling Ting Tong” by the Five Keys https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AaosFc9Z0i4 at #29.) There are no less than four sister acts in this top ten!

Best Sellers in Stores – January 29, 1955

Joan Weber

  1. Let Me Go Lover – Joan Weber (above)
  2. Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes
  3. Hearts of Stone – Fontane Sisters
  4. Naughty Lady of Shay Lane – Ames Brothers
  5. Sincerely – The McGuire Sisters
  6. Melody of Love – Billy Vaughn
  7. That’s All I Want From You – J.P. Morgan
  8. (My Baby Don’t Love Me) No More – The DeJohn Sisters
  9. Make Yourself Comfortable – Sarah Vaughn
  10. Teach Me Tonight – DeCastro Sisters

British pop stars staked a considerable claim on the American music charts in 1964 and 1965, but the songs that were most popular in the two countries were rarely the same at any given time. And not every British group scored big on the American shores. (The number in parenthesis is the song’s relative chart peak across “the big pond”)

Top Pop Hits in the UK – January 1965

Moody Blues

  1. Yeh Yeh – Georgie Flame  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdrdN1PFa-U
  2. I Feel Fine – The Beatles 
  3. Terry – Twinkle  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sADBdkcS7_w
  4. Girl Don’t Come – Sandie Shaw 
  5. Go Now! – Moody Blues (above)

Top Pop Hits in the US – January 1965

righteous brothers

  1. Come See About Me – The Supremes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PycKSdKG_74
  2. I Feel Fine – The Beatles
  3. Love Potion #9 – The Searchers
  4. Downtown – Petula Clark 
  5. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Righteous Brothers (above) 

I worked at WILK am in the mid 1980s with Frankie Warren, program director and morning personality. He is better known from Magic 93, where he continues to charm audiences with his wit and good manners every morning. At the request of management, Frankie kicked off the Solid Gold Million Dollar Weekend with the help of all on board. Each of the personalities rallied around the concept, and we thoroughly enjoyed playing as many hits from 1957 to 1977 that we could fit in to our shows. Coming up on a New Year’s Eve that ran into a weekend, Frankie realized that a Best of 1984 Countdown no longer made sense, even though we played pop/AC hits during the week. He challenged me to come up with a Top 98 Countdown of the Greatest Oldies of All Time. The Top 20 from that program, which was repeated five times over the New Years holiday, follows:

WILK Top 98 Oldies (1957 to 1977)

beatles 68

  1. Hey Jude – Beatles (above) ’68
  2. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley ’57
  3. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin ’59 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg85tWH97jo
  4. You Light Up My Life – Debby Boone ’77
  5. I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye ’68
  6. Love Letters in the Sand – Pat Boone ’68
  7. I Want to Hold Your Hand – Beatles ’64 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipADNlW7yBM
  8. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley ’57
  9. The Twist – Chubby Checker ’60/’62
  10. Tossin’ & Turnin’ – Bobby Lewis ’61
  11. Tonight’s The Night – Rod Stewart ’76 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZr6AE-u2UM
  12. Theme From a Summer Place – Percy Faith ’60
  13. At The Hop – Danny & the Juniors ’58
  14. Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley ’57
  15. I’m a Believer – The Monkees ’67 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfuBREMXxts
  16. The First Time Ever That I Saw Your Face – Roberta Flack ’72
  17. Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In – Fifth Dimension (top) ’69
  18. It’s All in the Game – Tommy Edwards ’58
  19. Battle of New Orleans – Johnny Horton ’59 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmE_clkBBU
  20. Alone Again Naturally – Gilbert O’Sullivan ’72

From the late 1970s into the early 1980s, Rock 107 broadcast a weekly Top 20 Rock Tracks program. I diligently wrote down the songs and their positions on the chart every week but never knew who produced the syndicated program nor who compiled the chart. It’s interesting what was still considered “rock” at the time, like soul singers Nicolette Larson and the Pointer Sisters, whose “Fire” was written by Bruce Springsteen.

Rock Top 20 – January 28, 1979

eric clapton

  1. Rod Stewart – Do You Think I’m Sexy?
  2. Blues Brothers – Soul Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0Gt7Oiczf8
  3. Dire Straits (top) – Sultans of Swing
  4. Nicolette Larson – Lotte Love
  5. Pointer Sisters – Fire https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K9S5EZgIJck
  6. Toto – Hold The Line
  7. Eric Clapton (above) – Promises
  8. Doobie Brothers – What a Fool Believes
  9. Billy Joel – My Life
  10. Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMnjF1O4eH0
  11. Ian Matthews – Shake It
  12. Billy Joel – Big Shot
  13. Rod Stewart – Ain’t Love a Bitch
  14. Toto – I’ll Supply the Love
  15. Jay Geils Band – One Last Kiss
  16. Styx – Sing For the Day
  17. Babys – Every Time I Think of You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jqruhCiwd0
  18. Bob Seager – We’ve Got Tonight
  19. Elvis Costello – Accidents Will Happen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytOzQ9EsT_U
  20. Rolling Stones – Shattered

I received most of my technical training in radio and broadcasting at Penn State Wilkes-Barre Campus from 1980 to 1983. I served as music director for the campus radio station, student liaison to University Park and assistant to the last professor to head the associate degree Mass Communications program before Penn State disbanded it. I’ve learned recently that they brought it back. 

WPSU – Most Played Tracks – January 27, 1981

  1. Rod Stewart – Passion
  2. Alan Parson Project – Games People Play
  3. Steely Dan – Hey Nineteen
  4. Eagles – Seven Bridges Road
  5. Donnie Iris – Ah! Leah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YH5Arbm47IQ
  6. Outlaws – Ghost Riders in the Sky
  7. Police – De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7v2GDbEmjGE
  8. Bruce Springsteen – Hungry Heart
  9. Dire Straits – Rock Solid
  10. Blues Brothers – Who’s Making Love

By the time that I was making my bread and butter from DJ gigs, I subscribed to several regional “DJ pools,” through which you could acquire special promotional discs and music lists of dance music that were recommended for local club play.

Keystone Spinners Record Pool – January 25, 1992

Micheal jackson

  1. Stacy Earl – Love Me All Up
  2. BG The Prince of Rap – Take Control of the Party https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRM6IFu10Ck
  3. N-Joi – Mindfux
  4. Clivilles & Cole – Pride (duo became C&C Music Factory) 
  5. Robert Owens – I’ll Be Your Friend
  6. Jody Watley – I Want You
  7. Cut’n’Move – Spread Love
  8. Micheal Jackson (above) – Black or White
  9. LA Style – James Brown is Dead
  10. MC Hammer – Adam’s Groove https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqQwzgixHAM

Thanks for taking this musical journey with me. Feel free to suggest some eras and genres you’d like to see a chart from, and I’ll do my best. And if you know any other chart geeks like me out there, please put us in touch.


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